Simon Baier


I am an experimental quantum physicist performing cutting-edge research in Innsbruck, a city in the heart of the Alps. Currently, I hold an ESPRIT Senior Postdoctoral position at the University of Innsbruck.


I was born in 1988, and at a young age, I was fascinated by the laws that describe how nature is held together. During my studies in physics, I became thrilled by the possibilities we have when controlling particles at the atomic scale. In 2013 I joined the team of Prof. Francesca Ferlaino for my PhD studies to work on a novel type of quantum system – ultracold magnetic Erbium atoms. Our work led to several groundbreaking results on few- and many-body physics, and in the area of quantum simulations. My work was awarded the IQOQI dissertation prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In 2018, I switched to the field of solid-state quantum optics and quantum information, joining the group of Prof. Ronald Hanson at QuTech. My decision was strongly driven by my excitement about the possibility of controlling and manipulating quantum systems at the single-particle level. Acquiring my own funding from the Austrian Science Fund allowed me to work towards a multi-node quantum network – a cutting-edge technological advance. In 2020 my colleagues and I succeeded in this challenge, reporting on the demonstration of entanglement generation between quantum network nodes that do not share a direct connection – a prime building block for a future quantum internet. Based on this work, I was awarded the Carl-Zeiss Award for Young Researchers in 2023.

In 2020, I joined the group of Prof. Tracy Northup at the University of Innsbruck to continue working on the vision of large scale quantum networks that one day may span across Europe or even the world. As a significant first step, we have realized entanglement generation between two trapped-ion quantum network nodes separated across the university’s campus.

In 2022, I started my first independent project in which we are working towards the goal of coupling single spin states to the mechanical state of levitated mesoscopic diamond particles. Throughout my scientific career, I’ve remained curiosity-driven, and for the upcoming years, I am aiming to start my own group in experimental quantum optics. I want to push the boundaries of our understanding of quantum mechanics and look forward to a long scientific journey.

CV at a glance

  • ESF Cold and Ultracold Molecules, Obergurgl, Austria
    Poster: A strongly magnetic Quantum Gas of Erbium Atoms
  • YAO Conference, Krakow, Poland
    Contributed Talk: Bose-Einstein Condensate of Erbium

Conferences and Seminars